July 23, 2008 Edition

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Reading camp held at WRES

Shyanne Foley (left) and Isaac Biggers peek out from a tent during reading time at the camp which was organized by the Northeast Arkansas Educational Cooperative.

The Northeast Arkansas Education Cooperative and Walnut Ridge's Ben R. Bush Elementary School recently hosted a Summer Reading Camp at WRES called Camp Read-A-Lot.

"The camp was designed so that area educators could observe Comprehensive Literacy Classroom teachers educate and interact with students in kindergarten through third grade," Melanie Spence, literacy specialist with the co-op, said. "Teachers observed the literacy block in the morning and debriefed with specific instruction in the afternoon."

Comprehensive Literacy involves scaffolding students in the process of reading and writing by providing just the right amount of support by the teacher. Components included: Familiar Reading, Shared Reading, Guided Reading, Read Aloud, Phonics/Spelling, Modeled Writing, Interactive Writing and the Writing Process.

"Lana Jean, WRES literacy coach, was central in organizing the event," Spence said. "She works with teachers in tightening instruction to make the most of every minute."

Walnut Ridge teachers Brooke Bramlett, Chrissy Sain, Shannon Wewers, Stefanie Hatcher, Heather Ashford, Kelly Rider, as well as literacy coach Bethany Davis from Jackson County, were involved in making the reading camp a success, according to Spence.

"Participating teachers commended the students, staff and administration in providing powerful professional development," Spence said. "It's the kind of professional development that we cannot replicate in a co-op setting."

Each student received a T-shirt and gift bag, courtesy of WRES and area businesses.

Jean said they were glad to have the opportunity to host the camp at WRES.

"It was an honor for the co-op to ask us to host this reading camp," she said. "We had observers, both teachers and administrators, from nine different schools in Northeast Arkansas. We received very positive feedback from those who attended."

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